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Roma downs Napoli as scorching hot start continues

Oct 18, 2013, 5:19 PM EDT

AS Roma's Miralem Pjanic celebrates after scoring against Napoli during their Serie A soccer match at Olympic stadium in Rome Reuters

Who put Michael Jordan’s secret stuff in the Rome city pipelines?

Whatever the boost happens to be, they’re on an absolute tear at Stadio Olimpico.

Roma defeated second-place Napoli 2-0 today in the capital as Miralem Pjanic’s fabulous double provided all the offense for the Giallorossi.

The 23-year-old Bosnian midfielder converted a luscious free kick on the stroke of halftime to give his side the lead just before the break, and then blasted home a penalty in the 71st minute after Napoli’s Paolo Cannavaro was sent off for receiving his second yellow card.

Daniele De Rossi also acrobatically cleared a would-be Goran Pandev goal off the line after former Azzurri goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis got only half a touch on the 35th minute shot.   That, combined with a trio of bar-clattering shots left Napoli frustrated with their lack of luck.

At 8-0-0, this is officially the point in the season where it becomes more than just a hot start, and raised eyebrows change to thoughts of a season for the history books.  The only other team to start a Serie A season perfect through eight matches is Juventus, who have done it three times – the last being the infamous 2005/06 season.

Napoli themselves have had a wonderful start to their year, and for Roma to brush them aside in this manner says a lot about the quality of the squad.  The loss is the first Serie A defeat of Rafa Benitez‘s tenure at Napoli.

The match also provided good news for USMNT star Michael Bradley as well, having been named to the bench as he looks to return from his ankle injury.

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